Sunday, 6 May 2012

The Number 329 Route

Turnpike Lane to Enfield Small Park Gardens
Thursday September 8th 2011 (Also 2/11/2009, see the post below this one)

{In order to maintain a list of completed routes we have a 12 page Word Table where we list the routes completed, by whom, on which date (turning black to red) – pretty basic and foolproof but pretty effective.  However, there is always human error and human error forgot to list that we had completed the 329 alongside the Route 41 back in November 2009. The fact that I had 7 photos stored should have alerted me but by the time I twigged the schedule was set – in any case it was a new route for Mary.}

Having admired all the charms of Turnpike Lane stations – those wonderful lamps surely an inspiration for the Moscow Metro – we very soon boarded the double decker 24 hour 329. In essence this is a Night Bus covering most of Route 29 (See September 2009) with an extension out to Enfield, where we were bound today.

Like all the other routes from Turnpike Lane, we headed up to Wood Green along the High Street (fine clock adorning the M&S, now an outlet only) and through the Wood Green Shopping City. Travelling towards the end of the week it was interesting to note the number of fruit and vegetable stalls that were already busy in the small side streets.    

Past Wood Green we spotted a pub still sporting its sign as the Fishmongers Arms – now hallowed as a venue where Pink Floyd played.  I can smugly say I had already seen them twice by the time they arrived in Wood Green, but that’s another story.

Also intriguing is what looks like a former car showroom, all glass and gloss, but now a church of the Seraphim and Cherubim. The bus was making very stately progress so when we stopped for the North Circular road works close to Bounds Green it did not feel all that shocking – shocking only that these road works have been going since spring 2010  with a 2-year programme. Which should mean they’ve finished by the date this is posted? Let’s hope the improvements are as beneficial as promised.

Having crossed the 406 (North Circ to you and me) we were now on the only route heading to Palmers Green . Passing the Alfred Herring pub (do we have a fishy theme this week?). AH proves to have been a World War 1 hero awarded the Victoria Cross for cheering on his troops. He also survived which is quite unusual.

He lived in nearby Fox Lane which has a pub at the end resplendent with a lovely plasterwork fox, which we did not quite capture…The Green at Palmers Green has been reduced to a small triangle of largely convolvulus (could do better). The to St Monica’s church – while the more recently famous Monica was a NY cook with OCD and five other Friends this one was a North African with a rather tiresome marriage but mother to Augustine. As it happened, a rather happy looking nun boarded here and sat on the top deck with us until getting out at Enfield, of which more anon.

By now we were crossing and running alongside the New River which we have often tried to capture as we passed: today’s stately progress allowed Mary to take many excellent shots.  The canal, for such it is, runs behind many of the houses through Winchmore Hill and the bus route follows a series of winding old country lanes including Green Dragon Lane with its eponymous pub, inevitably now serving Thai cuisine – a trick too good to miss. A pub of this name claims to be the oldest for Winchmore Hill. Later the roads became more wide, spacious and tree-lined – the restaurants many and varied including ‘The Trawlerman’ and another outlet promoting a seafood festival – who would have thought that a NW London bus could be so fishy?

As the 329 enters Enfield there was a strange large castle-like property on a corner looking slightly overgrown but no clues to its usage. Nearby too is the Our Lady of Mount Carmel buildings which looked rather like a convent (and indeed was where our nun got off) but may in fact just be a local RC society with links to the Italian community.

After the more villagy feel of the outskirts it was clear as we entered Enfield town that there were office blocks and new builds as part of the town centre. The route follows the well-established one-way system and comes to rest at Little Park Gardens having taken 40 minutes for this watery and fishy trip. 

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